Mississippi represented the Old South and all that it stood for--perhaps more so than any other state. Tracing its long histories of economic, social, and cultural evolution, Morris takes a close and richly detailed look at a representative Southern community: Jefferson Davis's Warren County, in the state's southwestern corner. Drawing on many wills, deeds, court records, and manuscript materials, he reveals the transformation of a loosely knit, typically Western community of pioneer homesteaders into a distinctly Southern society based on plantation agriculture, slavery, and a patriarchal social order. "This thoughtful, well-written study doubtless will be widely read and deservedly influential."--American Historical Review.